Small employers and STP – the ATO gets serious

The ATO has advised it is in the process of shifting from its previous engagement and communication focus on Single Touch Payroll (‘STP’). In particular, it will begin a ‘failure to lodge penalty’ process for small business employers (i.e., those … Read More

The Key Components for Business Success (Part 1)

At some stage in their lives, quite a few people dream of starting their own business. The attraction of being your very own employer supplying even more freedom and also potentially higher earnings is tempting. While there’s no magic potion … Read More

COVID-19 vaccination incentives and rewards

The ATO has reminded employers to consider their tax and super obligations when employees are provided with incentives or rewards for getting their COVID-19 vaccination. When employees are provided a cash payment, including paid leave for employees to get their … Read More

The common time waster that stops your business from growing

Being a small business owner can be fantastic. You get to be involved in every aspect of your business, from marketing to event planning, from sales to employee development. Being involved in so many areas of your business saves you … Read More

Lean canvas – a new way to do business planning

Few business owners have extra time to devote to a lengthy business planning process. But every entrepreneur needs a solid blueprint to get their business successfully up and running. The Lean Canvas—designed by Sparks59 CEO and Running Lean author, Ash … Read More

Succession Planning: A will for your business

“If You Fail to Plan, You Are Planning to Fail” — Benjamin Franklin This is one of my favourite quotes of all time, and especially relevant at the beginning of a New Year. That’s why I’ve dedicated a whole month … Read More

Additional ATO support during COVID-19

The ATO is providing additional support to taxpayers having difficulty meeting their tax and superannuation guarantee charge obligations for employees because of COVID-19. Available support includes the following: Lodgment or payment support options – for example, payment plans or remitting … Read More

Extra super step when hiring new employees

Employers may soon need to do something extra when a new employee starts to work for them. Currently, if a new employee does not choose their own fund, their employer can pay contributions for them to a default fund. From … Read More

Using Smart Goals to Achieve More

As a small business owner, you’re likely always looking for ways to achieve more. Maybe you made a New Year’s resolution about it. You might have resolved to make more money, find more clients, or grow your business. It’s fantastic … Read More

Still Doing Your Own Payroll? Here’s 3 Reasons Why You Should Stop

At face value, it seems like a great idea. If you’re a small business owner with just a few employees, you probably think that hiring a payroll specialist is an expense that you can avoid. You feel that you can … Read More

Travel allowances and ‘LAFHAs’

The ATO has released a Ruling explaining: when an employee can deduct accommodation and food and drink expenses when travelling on work; the FBT implications, including the application of the ‘otherwise deductible rule’, where an employee is reimbursed for accommodation … Read More

5 Financial Tips for Your 30s

Your 30s are an exciting time. You’re typically making more money than you were in your 20s and you’re looking to the future to determine the type of life you want to live. Your 30s are also a great time … Read More

3 Consequences of Avoiding Your Bookkeeping

If you ask 100 business owners what they like least about running a business, chances are good that bookkeeping will rank high on the list. It’s an annoying and frustrating chore that takes up a lot of time and is … Read More

Lost, damaged or destroyed tax records

The ATO knows that many taxpayers are facing lasting impacts left in the wake of natural disasters, so if they find their records have been lost or destroyed, whether in cyclones, floods or bushfires, the ATO can help. According to … Read More

New succession planning guide for family businesses

A family business can be an incredible source of pride. It’s legendary when you think about farms and agricultural businesses that have been in the hands of one family over generations. If a family business, whatever the industry they are … Read More

Is your business giving you what you want?

With the pandemic that struck in 2020, many of us realized that money is highly important to buy our necessities, comfort and a home. Prices of commodities have shot up and people have recently been shopping for homes in neighbourhoods … Read More

Shortcut rate for claiming home office expenses extended

The ATO has extended (again) the ability to utilise the “shortcut rate” for claiming home office running expenses to 30 June 2021 (it previously only applied until 31 December 2020). The ATO’s guideline allows certain taxpayers to claim a fixed … Read More

JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme: Claims open from 1 February 2021

The JobMaker Hiring Credit is being administered by the ATO and provides a wage subsidy payment directly to employers as an incentive to employ additional job seekers aged 16 to 35 years. Registrations for the JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme opened … Read More

How to avoid getting dodgy advice

The ATO is warning taxpayers who may be thinking about pausing, changing or closing their business, due to the current economic conditions, to be wary of untrustworthy advisers who may recommend inappropriate or illegal behaviour. This could include illegal phoenix … Read More

COVID-19 and Loss Utilisation

The ATO understands the way some businesses operate has been impacted as a result of COVID-19. Some of these impacts may have resulted in changes that affect whether they are able to utilise their carried-forward losses in the current or … Read More

Deduction for Work-Related Vehicle Expenses Disallowed

In a decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, a taxpayer, Mr Bell, was a denied a deduction for $21,565.73 of work-related vehicle expenses for the 2016 income year. Mr Bell, was a construction worker who predominantly worked on a construction … Read More

How to Leverage Ownership of Assets to Save on Tax

We live in quite unprecedented economic times. And yet well-known and legal business tax saving strategies apply just the same. Even more so now that every business is looking to streamline their operations and come out ok at the other … Read More

How you know your business is profitable post Covid-19

There is increasing concern by economists that a number of businesses will not recover after the government support package of JobKeeper comes to an end. Fortunately, the program has just been extended. However, for some companies, this may only delay … Read More

Why your assets and good will matter during Covid-19

For many business owners and individuals, this year’s tax return is going to be like no other. The Covid-19 lockdown and collapse in revenue for some businesses meant that they had to find strategies in a hurry to ensure their … Read More

Coronavirus: Government’s JobKeeper Payment

A major part of the Government’s response to the Coronavirus (or ‘COVID-19’) pandemic is the ‘JobKeeper Payment’ Scheme. The JobKeeper Payment is a wage subsidy that will be paid through the tax system (i.e., it will be administered by the … Read More

How to lodge your financial information with the QBCC

If you are holding a QBCC licence, submitting financial information is a regular and necessary task to complete. It ensures that your QBCC licence is not suspended, thus allowing your business to continue working in the industry. Reporting was due … Read More

How Concreters Can Save on Tax

Different occupation groups can claim different tax deductions. In this article we’re putting the spotlight on concreters and highlight what they can claim as business expenses. Typical tax deductions for concreters include: Motor vehicle travel to and from work if … Read More

How to breeze through QBCC Financial Reporting

Have you been burning the midnight oil in your office to finalise bookkeeping tasks or work on your business financial administration recently just so you could meet the QBCC reporting requirements? It’s certainly one way to get yourself out of … Read More

PAYG and deductions for payments to workers

The ATO has reminded business taxpayers they can no longer claim deductions for certain payments to workers if they have not met their PAYG withholding obligations from 1 July 2019. If the PAYG withholding rules require an amount to be … Read More

Act now to stay QBCC compliant

There is an important date coming up which is critical for tradies and builders holding a QBCC licence. Self-certification categories (SC) 1 and 2 and category 1 to 3 licensees must provide the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) with … Read More

Using the cents per kilometre method

The ‘cents per kilometre’ method broadly allows an individual taxpayer to claim up to a maximum of 5,000 business kilometres per car, per year without the need to keep any written evidence (e.g., receipts) of car expenses. Importantly, taxpayers making … Read More

Tradies Beware: Know how to avoid breaking QBCC laws

Tradies may be feeling a bit overwhelmed trying to wade through all the information the QBCC has on their website about how to stay compliant with your licence conditions. Therefore, it’s important that you know when you could be breaking … Read More

Building Works Without a Contract Could Jeopardise Your Cash Flow

When the average consumer thinks about building works they often imagine cranes on big commercial building sites in the city, where a new highrise grows from a huge hole in the ground with trucks ferrying steel and concrete to and … Read More

‘Cash in hand’ payments to workers no longer tax deductible

The ATO has reminded employers that any ‘cash in hand’ payments made to workers from 1 July 2019 will not be tax deductible. ‘Cash in hand’ refers to cash payments to employees that do not comply with pay as you … Read More

How to Make Sure You Don’t Lose Your QBCC Licence – Part 2

The last part of the reforms the QBCC brought in with the Minimum Financial Requirements (MFR) will take effect on 1 January 2020. This will affect all self-certification categories (SC) 1-2 and category 1-3 licensees by requiring them to undertake Annual … Read More

How to Make Sure You Don’t Lose Your QBCC Licence – Part 1

A QBCC license holder who is unable or does not know how to meet the new QBCC reporting requirements might find his license cancelled or suspended. When the QBCC suspended a major construction company’s licence in May it sent shock … Read More

New rules for immediate write-offs

Small business entity (‘SBE’) taxpayers who choose to depreciate their assets under the simplified depreciation rules are entitled to an immediate deduction with respect to low-cost assets in the year they are first used or installed ready for use for … Read More

Keep more customers with a Communication Plan

Communication with existing customers is generally neglected by businesses as they often focus their marketing and advertising on communicating with potential customers instead. All businesses should be in contact with their existing customers a minimum of 12 times per year … Read More

Scammers impersonate ATO phone numbers

The ATO is warning that scammers have adopted ‘Robocall’ technology to target taxpayers across the country. Assistant Commissioner Gavin Siebert said: “Scammers are sending pre-recorded messages in record numbers and are manipulating caller identification so that your phone displays a … Read More

Calculate the True Value of a Customer

By calculating the true value of a customer, or potential customer, it places a value on the total sales and profits generated by the customer over their lifetime with the business. The actual numbers can be astounding. For example, although … Read More

ATO warning regarding annual leave loading and OTE

The ATO has recently warned employers that it considers that annual leave loading should normally be part of ordinary time earnings (‘OTE’) for superannuation guarantee (‘SG’) purposes, unless it is referrable to a “lost opportunity to work overtime”. Therefore, if … Read More

Continued focus on the cash economy

ATO Assistant Commissioner Peter Holt has announced that, in the 2019/20 financial year, the ATO will be visiting a further 10,000 small businesses across the country, including up to 500 small businesses in Tasmania. He further said that businesses that … Read More

Non-compliant payments to workers

The rules for claiming deductions for payments to workers are changing. From 1 July 2019, businesses can only claim deductions for certain payments made to workers where they’ve met the Pay As You Go (‘PAYG’) withholding obligation for that payment. … Read More

Changes to the small business instant asset write-off

On 29 January 2019, the Prime Minister announced that legislation will be introduced to: extend the small business instant asset write-off by 12 months to 30 June 2020; and increase the write-off threshold from less than $20,000 to less than … Read More

Claims for home office expenses increased

The ATO has updated the hourly rate taxpayers can use to determine deductions for home office expenses from 45 cents to 52 cents per hour for individual taxpayers, effective 1 July 2018 (i.e., from the 2019 income year). According to … Read More

ATO contact regarding business cars and Fringe Benefits Tax (‘FBT’)

The ATO has recently advised that it will be contacting taxpayers (and tax agents on behalf of their clients) that have been identified as having cars registered in their business name who have not lodged an FBT return. The ATO … Read More

Increased scrutiny of home office claims

Last year, 6.7 million taxpayers claimed a record $7.9 billion in deductions for ‘other work-related expenses’, which includes home office expenses. Reportedly, due to a high number of mistakes, errors and questionable claims for home office expenses, the ATO has … Read More

Delay Sales & Realisation of Assets

For businesses accounting for income on the cash basis, delaying the receipt of income from May or June to July results in tax savings for two reasons: The income is included in the next financial year, not this financial year. … Read More

Utilise business Goodwill to Pay out Your Private Mortgage

This tax strategy enables business owners to utilise the value of their business goodwill to pay out their private mortgage and convert a non-deductible mortgage into tax deductible debt. The average Australian family is paying over $25,000 interest per year … Read More

The Company Tax Cut Saga

In the last week of the August Parliamentary sittings, the controversial corporate tax cut plan for the big end of town (i.e., companies with an aggregated turnover of over $50 million) was defeated. In addition, long-awaited legislation impacting the company … Read More

Black economy recommendations will impact day-to-day business

Editor: Recently issued draft legislation has focused on introducing new measures to manage the growing cash economy (i.e., the ‘black economy’) in light of the Black Economy Taskforce recommendations and recent Federal Budget announcements. Two of these key recommendations are outlined … Read More

ATO guide to the 5 most common Tax Time mistakes

As Tax Time 2018 has ‘kicked off’, the ATO has profiled the five most common mistakes they see, including taxpayers who are: leaving out some of their income (e.g., forgetting a temp or cash job, capital gains on cryptocurrency, or … Read More

Advantages of Salary Packaging Private Motor Vehicles

When a motor vehicle is used 100% for private purposes there is normally no tax deduction available on the expenditure. With this strategy an employee can generate annual tax savings of $2,500 – $3,000 pa by salary packaging their private motor vehicle with … Read More

Tax Time Tips for Small Business

The ATO claims that it is committed to supporting small businesses and making it as easy as possible for them to understand and meet their tax obligations at tax time. Consequently, Assistant Commissioner Mathew Umina has some tips to help … Read More

How to Jumpstart Your Business

In our Blog article 21 Steps to Eliminate Frustration In Your Business we’ve posed 21 questions to help you think about where you’re at in your business right now, and they were ‘hand-on-your-heart’ questions, I admit that. You see, often … Read More

21 Steps to Eliminate Frustration in Your Business

Tradies and small business owners go through different business cycles and growth phases. There could be external factors that are influencing this for you. More often than not though, it’s the strategic decisions that you take which determine the success … Read More

Penalties, Fines and Interest – Are They Tax-Deductible?

If you’ve ever wondered which, if any, penalties, fines or interest could be tax deductible, here’s the latest on this topic. Outlined below are the general rules applying to business owners, employees, investors and retirees. Penalties or fines imposed as … Read More

Mileage Claims for Jointly Owned Motor Vehicles Explained

The ATO have confirmed that even when a vehicle is only registered in their spouses name a taxpayer is still considered to be the joint owner or lessee of the motor vehicle and eligible to claim expenses. This means where … Read More

How to Save on Tax When Transporting Heavy Equipment & Tools

Some employees need to transport heavy or bulky equipment to and from their work place each day to perform their job. This is often the case with engineers, plumbers, electricians, builders, mechanics, defence force members, musicians and medical practitioners, etc. … Read More

Tax Strategy: Husband and Wife Partnerships

In a typical husband and wife partnership, one partner is qualified (for example an electrician) and produces the partnership income and the other partner may be involved in administration for the partnership. Profits from the partnership are normally split 50/50 … Read More

The importance of documenting processes and systems

Many Tradies operate with their business processes and systems in their heads. They know what they need to do each day and the way they want to get things done. Unfortunately when a business grows and staff need to be … Read More

December 2017 Practice Update

Parliamentary update Editor: The ongoing citizenship saga in Parliament has resulted in the Government losing its one-seat majority in the House of Representatives, thanks to the resignations of Barnaby Joyce and John Alexander. By-elections have been scheduled in the relevant … Read More

November 2017 Practice Update

Reporting of transfer balance account information Editor: The recent superannuation reforms introduced the concept of a ‘transfer balance account’, to basically record the value of member balances moving into or out of ‘retirement phase’. In order to monitor these amounts, … Read More

Taming the cash flow beast

Imagine this: Your business sales and activities are going gangbusters, but at the end of the fortnight there is no money in the bank to pay your staff. If you’ve been there you would know how stressful a situation this … Read More

October 2017 Practice Update

No small business tax rate for passive investment companies The Government has released draft tax legislation to clarify that passive investment companies cannot access the lower company tax rate for small businesses of 27.5%, but will still pay tax at … Read More

Do you know your business’ strengths and weaknesses?

From time to time, companies and organisations undertake a SWOT analysis, where managers and staff look at what Strengths & Weaknesses the business has, and what Opportunities & Threats the business is facing in the current business environment. I highly … Read More

Are You Racing Against Time?

In our last few blogs we have talked about whether or not your business is saleable and some ideas to help improve that. Here are some numbers that would scare you: With only 10% of strategies being executed, business owners … Read More

Supercharge Your Profitability

In a recent article, we looked at when might be the best time to sell your business, what you need to have in place to make your business attractive to a buyer, and whether you and your business were actually … Read More

Top 3 Routines…That Can Kick Your Business Success Out of the Park

When you start a new project for your clients you probably have certain routines to get them up and running. Everything runs a certain way when you do business, from quoting for the job, scheduling it in your calendar of … Read More

Cutting business costs ethically and effectively

It’s an unpleasant reality of running a business – sometimes you’re going to have to cut costs. You only have to look at the sobering examples of Holden and Toyota announcing they’ll take their car manufacturing operations overseas, which will … Read More

Are You and Your Business Ready to Sell?

Going into business can be a very rewarding experience, and going out of business making a profit can be even sweeter. However, it is estimated that only 21% of businesses owners ever sell their business. Many business owners believe that … Read More

How to save tax all year round

The old adage “You don’t know what you don’t know” applies to many areas of life, including what you can claim on tax. Small business owners are generally well clued up as to what they can claim as a tax-deductible … Read More

Net Profit is King!

Net Profit is King! Not Cashflow   Economic researchers claim that 80% of businesses go out of business in the first 5 years and 50% in the first year. These percentages are staggeringly high. Most business owners think that cash … Read More

How to turn on the money tap

You’ll hear me talking about numbers a lot, I guess I can’t help it, being an Accountant and Financial Planner. In my article “Net Profit is King” I talked about the importance of setting healthy profit margins for your business. … Read More

5 Critical Numbers for Business – Part 2

All Tradies know how important numbers are for their business success. In fact, without the ability to measure up the job and use these numbers to get the job done right, Bob the Tradie, who was the example we’ve used … Read More

5 Critical Numbers for Business – Part 1

Can you imagine what a Tradie would do without a measuring tape? If you’re in the building, plumbing or painting industry, having the right measurements is absolutely critical. Without the right measurements, doors and windows wouldn’t close, plumbing fittings would … Read More

Are You Chasing Up Outstanding Invoices?

A friend of mine, who’s running a tradie business, had a bit of a cry on my shoulder recently. He was saying how he was struggling after the holidays to pay his provider accounts and have enough to pay his … Read More

How to create a business rocket launch platform for 2017

The beginning of the year is always so full of promise, and I’m not sure about you, but I really enjoy turning onto a new page and make a business plan for the next year. As this time is also … Read More

How to Make Your Business Holiday Proof

Have you ever asked yourself: If you went away for a couple of months on holidays, or (heaven forbid) had an accident involving weeks in hospital, what would happen to your business? I’m sure you’ve had situations in your life … Read More

Give the B.S. in Your Business the Boot!

  Have you been flat out lately and cursed all the non-core business activities that you need to keep up with? Wouldn’t you like to give the boot to all those activities and just be done with it? I talk … Read More

Do You Know your Numbers?

If you don’t know your numbers in business you might as well play roulette! If you feel a little confronted by my statement, let me explain… …knowing how your business performs financially is at the front and centre of your … Read More